Politics - News Analysis
[UPDATED] People Think Trump Staged This Situation Room Photo Because Trump Was Actually Golfing When Raid Happened
Politifact has since said there is “no evidence” the photo was staged.
This article didn’t assert the photo was staged…rather, we took to social media and reported on those who felt it was staged and why.
The chief official White House photographer for former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama suggested the Trump administration staged Saturday’s stern-faced Situation Room picture in the wake of a U.S. military raid that resulted in the death of a major ISIS figurehead.
Pete Souza, the former director of the White House Photography Office, called the timestamp of the Situation Room picture into question Sunday morning.
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Souza inferred that it’s very unlikely Donald Trump, Mike Pence and several top administration officials and generals were actively monitoring the raid on ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s compound when the photograph was taken Saturday in Washington.
Souza took the famous photograph of Obama and a shocked then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton intently watching the Seal Team 6 raid on the Abbottabad compound that killed al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in 2011.
The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at "17:05:24". https://t.co/XV0MFfFiTt
— Pete Souza (@PeteSouza) October 27, 2019
“The raid, as reported, took place at 3:30PM Washington time. The photo, as shown in the camera IPTC data, was taken at ’17:05:24,'” Souza remarked on Twitter Sunday. He was replying to a tweet from White House Director of Social Media and Assistant to the President, Dan Scavino Jr.
And where was Trump when the raid was going down? On the golf course at his club in Sterling, Virginia.
The al-Baghdadi Situation Room photo Saturday showed Trump; Pence; National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien; Secretary of Defense Mark Esper; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley; and Brig. Gen. Marcus Evans, Deputy Director for Special Operations on the Joint Staff. All six men are shown in stiff, postured stances, giving squinted glares toward the camera.
The Trump photo is far more symmetrical and organized than the Obama White House Situation Room picture taken during the bin Laden compound raid in 2011. Clinton can be seen holding her mouth in shock and Defense Secretary Robert Gates crossing his arms in front of a jumble of administration officials and generals stand behind them.
Twitter quickly caught on:
It wasn't enough to announce the killing of #alBaghdadi. They had to do a STAGED Situation Room photo. trump was golfing when the kill happened.
I prefer the one w/President Obama and VP Biden looking intense, and Hillary looking worried.
THAT shit was REAL. pic.twitter.com/PaQG7qK8Vz
— BrooklynDad_Defiant Savage! (@mmpadellan) October 27, 2019
Former Chief Official White House Photographer suggesting that the White House may have staged this photo in the Situation Room. https://t.co/V3L4Tg5U2D
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 27, 2019
— san (@sanosbo1) October 27, 2019
Trump out here faking situation room pictures for clout 🤦🏾♂️ https://t.co/FBSMKyOuXO
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) October 27, 2019
This asshole wants to be Obama so bad that he staged a situation room photo almost three hours after the raid. Half these guys don’t know whether to look at the camera or pretend they’re monitoring. pic.twitter.com/aCM9tE76xH
— 🍺MIKE NORTON🍺 (@themikenorton) October 27, 2019
President Tough Guy never even left the golf course. He was lying to the American people yet again and his situation room photo was fake. This was all just another made for TV episode of ‘The Adderall Apprentice as POTUS’ @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/9WRhfbLXYo
— NoelCaslerComedy (@CaslerNoel) October 27, 2019
Al- Baghdadi was killed at 3:30 E.S.T.
Killer Don's schedule(pool reports) shows he left golf course at 3:30.
This photo is staged and faked. pic.twitter.com/veeEUyEPmB
— Tom Joad™ (@JohnnyBlkshrt) October 27, 2019
The Baghdadi raid reportedly took place yesterday at 3:30PM EST.
According to yesterday's pool report, Trump and crew didn't leave Trump National Golf Club until 3:30PM EST.
— Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) October 27, 2019
The motorcade didn’t return back to the White House until 4:18 pm — nearly 50 minutes after the Baghdadi raid started.
Trump was golfing. During the raid. https://t.co/7RZ2UYbP8V
— Caroline Orr (@RVAwonk) October 27, 2019